Monday, March 21, 2011

What a Weekend

I’ve often thought that I should take more photos of Charles tantruming (probably not a word, but who cares?) so that I can either elicit sympathy from friends on the internet or keep them to show him when he is older.  My parents probably wish they did this with me as they try to tell me that I was just as bad as Charles when it came to epic battles of will, crying over seemingly nothing at all, and rage-fests.  Knowing that I tortured them as Charles is torturing me does make me feel better, but only because I know I ended up mostly fine and maybe he will, too.


But will I be fine?  I found myself honestly wishing for a few moments yesterday that I could be back before all of this happened, back when we were looking to move to Mount Vernon, so that I could change some big life decisions.  The first would be to not buy a house; I’m sure I’m not the only person in America who wishes he or she had not bought a house in 2007.  But it’s not about the money, it’s about the crappiness that we didn’t notice because we had lived in junky little apartments our entire adult lives.  Things that I am having to fix now, things that I would like to fix but are too expensive, things that are damned inconvenient that will never be fixed because they are a part of our stupid house and can’t be changed.  If we had lived in an apartment for a year or two, sure, we wouldn’t have Buster and Charles might not have been born (but surely there would be another baby, just not Charles, just not timed as Charles was), but we would have been able to afford a much nicer house with fewer problems to be solved.  Maybe even furniture that matched and home decor items other than stuff we find at the dump.


And then I did a mental slap and threw myself out of the funk and went to sleep, where I proceeded to have awful dreams about drowning while trying to save Charles in an overflowing pool that was inside a building with no windows and no way out except one door that I couldn’t get open.  How’s that for subconscious guilt over wishing I could undo my life and the best thing in it, even if I only wished that for a few minutes?


The truth is, Charles was awful all weekend long, just plain horrendous.  He refused to nap, he freaked out over little things, he threw kicking, screaming temper tantrums, and then, when he would get a second wind, he would climb all over me and the furniture like a freakish, little monkey.  What do you do for that?  What do you do when you’re six months pregnant and you can’t make your stubborn toddler sleep?  And television is a reward, and you don’t want to reward bad behavior?  You tough it out, I guess.  And luckily, my mom was there, so at least I wasn’t alone and there is someone else in the world who believes that Charles can be this nasty because, I’ll tell you what, as soon as grandpa or daddy walks in the door at night, he is all smiles, an angel-toddler, a happy kid who sits right down and the table and wolfs down strawberries and leftover pizza and chocolate milk without a bit of fussing. 


It’s these kinds of days that take the wind out of my sails after successfully potty-trianing and remind me that I really have no idea what the hell I am doing at all.




Charles and I are leaving for Phoenix on Thursday and I am so looking forward to the break.  I think the bus ride and airport and plan will blow my two-year-old’s ever-loving mind, and I anticipate a good trip punctuated by solid napping.  Because one must remain optimistic, right?  I have the ipod, and I plan to get backup power for it tonight, I have Talking Carl and Minimals (animals in Charles-speak) and Toy Story 3 on the ipod, and a book of Curious George, his current favorite (though not Curious George Rides a Bike, which I have read approximately 11,236,748 times in the past 3 weeks and refuse to bring along).  I have snacks.  I should receive by tomorrow a roller for the carseat so I can use it as a stroller with strapped-in toddler throughout the airport.  I think I am ready.  Any suggestions from anyone who has traveled with children before?


Lo said...

We flew to Maui with Grace in November. She was 13 months old. I took LOTS of snacks. A few new toys that she had not seen before, books, laptop with Tinkerbell movie. She stayed pretty occupied and didn't bug too many people. Granted it was a 5 hour flight.
She was more fussy on the way home and we did get a couple glances from some crotchy asshole that was sitting across the aisle from us.
Good luck. I am sure he will do great.
Oh, naptime didn't work too well for Grace. She would try to get comfortable and wake herself up. We may have gotten an hour total each way.

Stephanie said...

I just tried to leave you a big comment with some traveling advice but I don't think it worked. Sorry if this is a duplicate.

Advice for traveling with kids. I flew a bunch with just myself and Amelia when she was younger, so these are all things I've learned the hard way! :-)

1. Bring more snacks, changes of clothing, diapers in your carry on than you think you'll need. If you get delayed somewhere along the way, it sucks when all the good stuff is in your checked luggage.

2. Wear shoes you can take on and off easily and put back on easily, while holding onto a child who is possibly trying to make a break for it. (They will generally make you remove your child from the car seat/stroller so it can go through the xray machine or whatever is you put your purse and stuff through, so it won't be helpfully holding them while you go through security. )

3. Make sure he has shoes that are also easy to take on and off as he'll probably have to remove his too.

4. Don't freak out and run after your child if they run through security without you. (Yes this happened to me when Amelia was 2.5 or so.) We were a few feet apart and being patted down -yes my 2 year old got a pat down at the Orange County Airport- and she bolted. It took a couple minutes of me yelling before they noticed...

5. Pack some surprises. It helped on flights to have some toys/coloring books that were new for the trip. They seemed to hold her attention longer.

I'm sure it will all work out fine and you'll have a great trip. :-)

Amelia said...

Thanks for the advice! I was planning on taking a backpack full of goodies as opposed to the usual diaper bag. I pondered a child-leash to avoid running-away situations, but decided that the kid might rip my arm off. Sure, I handle the dog just fine, but he has a pinch collar, and I doubt CPS would let me use such a thing on my son :-)

Sarah said...

I've traveled a few times, and once alone with Claire. I would suggest:
1. Being ready to walk around the airport as much as possible. A moving toddler is a happy toddler.
2. Bring a few extra ziplock/plastic bags tucked away in case you need to seal up something disgusting and you're not close to a garbage or a flight attendant. I even put things in different plastic bags within my backpack so I didn't have to dig as much (separate one for diapers, snacks, toys, etc.).
3. Try to enjoy yourself as much as possible. It will be a little crazy, but that comes with the territory, right?

Have fun!